Let’s Talk About… (#11) – Mr Robot (Season 1)

It’s summer and I’ve had a bit more time on my hands, so I’ve been catching up on shows that I’ve meaning to watch this year. I kept seeing GIFs and tweets about Mr Robot all over my Twitter timeline which caught my attention, but the name of the show sort of put me off. However, I saw a picture of the main star of the show, Rami Malek, who looked strangely like a friend of mine, it intrigued me to watch the show. I guess we all have our reasons for getting into the things we like, and this was mine😂.

Mr Robot is a Golden Globe winning cyber-thriller which streams on Amazon Prime in the UK and airs on the USA Network in the US. I am just going to warn you now, as always, not to read on if you have not completed the series; there are spoilers ahead. I will even tuck the rest of this post below for you so you aren’t tempted to read on if you haven’t started already. You’ve been warned

I should now only be joined by people who have seen the first season. Well, what an exciting first season it was with that mind blowing twist! However, I do think it might be a little bit clichĂ© to go down the “he imagined it all” route. We all used to write stories like that in primary school “…and he woke up and it was all just a dream. The end.” But, in the context of the themes that run throughout the show, such as Elliott’s social anxiety and clinical depression, as well as frequent drug abuse, I will make an allowance that it was a clever way to keep the audience on their toes.

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All the way through the season Elliott talks to ‘Mr Robot’ and he makes observations and evaluations about everybody he knows and meets. He hacks people to find their deepest, darkest secrets in order to protect them, and in some cases, retribute them. However, as time progresses, Elliott becomes more doubtful, and later, delusional; often questioning his own reliability and accuracy in judgement. He begins to unravel, and so does his life. This is further confirmed when the big revelation is made that he has been hallucinating the presence of dead his father the whole time. I think it is refreshing to have an unreliable source as the main narrative voice of the show because it makes you a more vigilant viewer, and forces you to second guess and refer back to what has already happened in earlier episodes.

There were two turning points in the show that really hooked me in; firstly, when we found out that Mr Robot was actually Elliot’s father and Darlene was his sister (which he found out the hard way 😂); and secondly, when we find out that Mr Robot has actually been in his head the whole time. Meaning that, while Elliot was under the impression that Mr Robot had enlisted him to work with ‘fsociety’, he was actually the founder of the cyber hacking group and had been in on their plan all along.

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This leads me to wonder why his coworkers did not notice Elliot’s unusual behaviour sooner, because, as shown in their altercation scene at the internet cafĂ©; when Elliot is conversing with Mr Robot, he is literally speaking aloud to himself, the same goes for physical interaction. Therefore, he must have been doing a lot of that during the time spent with the rest of ‘fsociety’ working in their amusement park-turned headquarters. However, this does make me question how much of what we saw was actually real. For example; the scene where the demonstration was going on where Elliot said “I need to be alone”, and made the people disappear. This scene makes me think that if he is capable of completely changing what is before him with the power of his mind, then he could probably create false memories. This is also likely since several real memories seem to have been omitted from his mind; most namely his relationships with his dead father, and sister.

The end of the series leaves us with lots of burning questions; Where is Tyrell? What repercussions will cancelling everyone’s debt have? Will Angela be successful in taking down E/vil Corp? What is Whiteroses’ next move? A theory I have is that Elliot is going to be able to use his complex brain to his advantage and be able to tune out the world to focus in on the issues at hand to help him solve them.

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Needless to say, I am excited for season two and I can’t wait to get stuck in!

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